Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive

Hi all! I just wanted to pop in and say that I'm sorry I've been so inactive with my blog this week, but I just moved into my new apartment last weekend, and I don't have internet there (should tonight!) so I am very limited on my internet time elsewhere.

In knitting news, I finished and sent of my Afghans for Afghans hat and am about to start the lace on my shawl! I will post more when I have more time.

Until next time!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Indie Dyer in Training: Part 1

It's PAYDAY!!!!

Sorry, but as a broke college kid working a 40 hour, strenuous painting job, seeing my first pay check is really nice :) It means I can go buy more stuff for my apartment tomorrow: Garage sales here I come!!!

Besides that, I have been wanting to share with you some things that have been on my mind a lot lately, especailly after my summer class, where we spent a few days boiling down plants for inks and I learned you could dye with them too. Ever since, I have been crazy obsessed with dying.

Thus, I decided to do a bit of research on natural plant dyes and have also started growing a few things to use. My aunt has marigolds and some pretty purple things growing for me to try boiling down, and I am hoping my Colious will also boil down well?? I took advantage of the Interweave Hurt Book Sale and got these:

Not as comprehensive on plants as I'd like, but really explains how to go about a lot of techniques

I got it more for the socks, but it talks about dying, spinning and then knitting socks! So much fun!

So with the research done, one would think I'd be ready to dye right? Wrong. My plants are really big enough/producing enough flowers yet to do anything with AND I have yet to find any old pots to do so in (it's on the garage sale list).

So instead, needing to get a dying fix, I decide to over dye some handspun for my headband adventures. Since I already made one headband with the pink and black mix, I decided to overdye the other skein I had so I could do a different colored headband. 


I overdyed the pink/black mix with a very deep golden yellow color Wilton's food dye. I was hoping for a orange/green (because the black is more blue ish) color, and I didn't quite get that, but I did get an amazing fall/deep orange, red, brown, green mix and I love it! I hope it looks good with the black of my headbands.

The second skein I overdyed was my red/yellow mix, simply because I didn't think a red/yellow color would sell as well as a purple blend and wanted to see what would happen.


I was wishing at first that I hadn't made the blue so deep, because when I looked at it at first it was a lot of maroon/blue and I wasn't too happy. But if you get closer there are areas of super pretty purple and greens going on too! I really do like this skein better now! Can't wait to knit with it. 

There are many more dying adventures on the very near horizon and I can't wait to share them with you. I will give you a preview now of part 2.

My new color dying notebook!

Happy Friday Everyone. See you all again soon with more fun stuff :)



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Am I Just Repeating Myself?

Happy Wednesday! Once again it's that time of the week, which means I get to tell you all about my WIP's. Go figure, it's the same ones as the last few posts :/

The Amari shawl is coming along much faster than I thought it would be at this stage, for I am now only a little over one section away from beginning the lace edging! Oh boy, that will be an adventure! From what I can tell on my KAL, it's a bit wonky to knit.

Honestly, I would show you my top, but I think I've knitted 4 rows since last time, maybe 5, and any photo would look just like the others I've shown. So I'll save that for another day.

On the new project front, I have stopped with the headbands on work breaks and started a hat instead. This isn't just any hat though, it's a charity hat, to be sent to Cephalopodyarns for Afghans for Afghans. Shoelaceswitcher shared the information on her blog a few days ago and I had to get involved! The idea of sending a bit of warmth to someone across the world is such a great idea.  Plus it helps that the group is giving away free Bugga for doing so :)

This is going to be a generic hat, knit from what's left of my Paton's wool combined with some Mochi I had in my stash. I am a bit afraid that the mochi won't last the whole hat, but I think it will look good either way. It's coming a long very fast! But it has to be because it's due by next weekend.

Did I mention that I am finally moving completely this weekend! Eeek! I am so not ready, there is still so much to pack up and move (and I'm a college kid...this is bad). But hopefully once I get to actually living there it will be better.

My future art room...told you I had a lot!

 So I can't wait to share another project I have going, but that's for another day. Until then, have a great week everyone!

And if you want to see more WIP's Wednesdays, check out Tami's Amis


And for today's humor, check out the teaser for Disney/Pixar's new "Monster's University!"


Sunday, June 17, 2012

K.C. Bound + A Mind Blowing Pit Stop

So as I mentioned in yesterday's book review, I wanted the chance to tell you all about my very awesome weekend. It sure seems like I have been having a lot of those lately doesn't it? Well rest assured, this is probably the last for awhile: I am more than ready to just sit around on my bed all weekend knitting and designing sock patterns.

My dad has this whole coming week (starting yesterday) off from work, and whenever he gets that we always try to go somewhere, even if just for the weekend, because he isn't as tired.  Well this year we decided on a simple weekend getaway to Kansas City (which is about 3-4 hours from home for them). We haven't been to K.C. just to go in quite a while, so it was kinda nice. I discovered a lot of places I want to go  to again when I am NOT with my family.

Although I was very resistant on going at all -- I'm 21 and wanted to just stay in Manhattan this weekend, since I haven't had that in awhile -- I am really glad I did. One of my conditions for going though was that we go through Lawrence, KS on the way and stop and the Yarn Barn, a shop I have heard a lot about but have not had a chance to visit. Lets just say I am going back a lot more often after yesterday! Take a look for yourself. (Sorry for the crappy photos, I didn't want to look obvious in my photo taking so I used my phone).

Sock Yarn! It was so hard not to buy any! I have so much in my stash already though!

Lot and lots of undyed yarn, once again tempting!

Spindles!!! I like mine from Wicked Stitch better (and it's cheaper). Some of these had sheep painted on them though!

This shop is a one stop spot for everything from spinning (Fiber and wheels!) to knitting/crochet (a massive selection of yarn) to weaving (almost half the store is weaving). In the end I walked out with this gorgeous 50/50 roving of merino and tencel and the pattern for a Milanese Wrap, which I cannot wait to make! 

I already can't wait to spin this!
Wildflower doesn't sell this yarn, so I will prob be back when I decide to knit it!

So after the epic pit stop, we were K.C. bound, where we checked in to an overly nice (and priced..for us) motel and then hit up a place I read about online, The Well, for dinner! This was one of those local bars that also is kid friendly (before 10 pm) and the food was amazing! They also have a roof top patio to eat on (we got there too late to get that though). I would highly recommend it to anyone who ever goes through K.C., for as I said, the food was amazing! I also discovered an American brand of hard cider, Crispin, that I LOVED (ever since Scotland I have been in desperate search of hard cider).

Today brought on a few fun activities as well. We drove around a bit by Crown Center, where I saw the children's hospital I went to as a new born for 10 day surgery (so glad I survived!)

Crown center itself is so pretty with all of it's fountains. It's also shopping heaven with many unique shops, included the Gato's Boutique (aka cat lover heaven!). 

I wish I wasn't broke!

Nothing we wanted to do opened until noon, so we killed some time here as well as downtown at lunch before hitting up the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Although I had no desire to go to either, overall I really did enjoy visiting these stops, both were very interactive and loaded with lots of information and artifacts.

Jazz and Baseball lovers, this is a must!

Here comes the part I enjoyed! The Kansas City Sculpture Park (next to the Nelson Atkins)! I have been to the gallery before, but not the outdoor park. In case you haven't seen these, the museum (and K.C.) is known for the 4 giant shuttlecocks that are a part of this park.  Why shuttlecocks? Because the commissioned artist when they first decided to create the park said that it looked like a bat mitten court from above and the museum looked like the net. Very cool right? It's kind of a tradition to get a picture in front, so I got 3! 

My favorite!

Another cool aspect of this garden is that they also have works by many other famous artists, many that I talked about last semester in my 20 C. Art History Class. I always love going to galleries and seeing art by people I studies, it makes them seem more legit. 

Seated Woman by Henry Moore 1958-59

Ferment, by Roxy Paine 2011 -- This was just added last spring!

By that point we were all hot and tired, so we got in the car and made our way home. For a 2 day weekend, it was a very productive and eventful one. I am really glad I decided to go! 

I hope everyone else had a great weekend and Father's Day! Talk to you all again soon.


P.S. I think I am going to start replying to comments, so if you want to see my responses, feel free to check back and/or subscribe to them via email.

Sasha got tired waiting on the mice (photo courtesy a photo text from my sister)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Evening Book Review #5

Happy Saturday. I will have a more lengthy post about my weekend tomorrow, but for now I want to share this week's book review.


The extensive sections on yarn selection, how to change yarns in patterns and how to alter patterns to fit and look good on your own unique body
The different photo filled pages of Stitch 'N Bitchers across the nation
The author, as always, is so down to earth and understands the problems that all knitters go through.
She explains the MATH behind figuring out a lot of pattern qualities!


Many of the patterns, sadly, are not my style -- a bit too quirky, flashy, etc.
I LOVE that she has instructions to change around patterns, and they are very well explained, but I still feel like there could be so much more. Probably it's own book.

Favorite Patterns:

Accidentally on Purpose
Basic Cable Hat
Belt De- Jour
Lucky: Clover Lace Wrap
Ultra Femmee

Overall, another great Stitch 'N Bitch book, and as always it's a good read and a good addition to any library, especially those who like to alter patterns to fit their bodies/moods/styles.

Vintage Modern Knits by Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley

The patterns are cute
There is a good variety between colorwork, cables, etc. As well as sweater and non-sweaters. 

The colorwork patterns still feel dated, despite the 'modern' title
I wish it was more than just patterns, but then again, not every book has to have extensive instructions and tutorials like the Stitch 'N Bitch book above.

Favorite Patterns:
Aijiro Scarf-- I LOVE THIS!
Brigid Jacket -- Not a button fan, but this one is something I'd actually wear

Overall, I LOVE the patterns in this book; there are so many I would make. I am getting excited for winter so I can try a few.

Ok guys, I had a major huge dinner so I am going to go work on my Amari Shawl and just veg out. See you all again tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIP Wednesday, and opinions needed :)

Is it really Wednesday already? I feel like this week just started!

I had a really hard time deciding what to talk about for today's WIP Wednesday without making it sound like the same old projects again. Yes, I'm still working on the shawl (ready to start lightest stripe), and the top (hasn't gone anywhere since my last post). Today though, I am going to talk about my headbands.

For those of you who did not see my Etsy link on the right, or even if you did, I am knitting black headbands with colorful borders and flowers to sell. They seem to be very popular around the winter time, so why not take the break time I have at work and get a head start on my inventory?

I finally bought a foam head!

I am hoping to have at least 1 a week made so that by the end of the summer I can finish them up and sell them.
In progress, this is 2 hours (four 30 min breaks at work) worth of work, will be done by tomorrow!

Here's where you all come in. I have been knitting them with black wool yarn (Paton's -- a Random Act of Kindness from a fellow Ravelor -- to be exact) and am debating whether to keep doing so or not. Would people be O.K. with acrylic? If I choose acrylic, does it have to be 'luxury' acrylic, or can I get away with something like Simply Soft?  Will it lesson the value of the product?  My thing is that for those allergic to wool, this is a nice option. Plus it's cheaper to buy for me to knit with, and also most of my customer base may not really know the difference anyways. What would you do?

And then there's the borders, made with hand dyed and spun superwash wool/nylon blend yarn. If I did acrylic, for those allergic, would this small amount of wool still irritate the wearer?

I pretty much run out of previously spun and dyed yarn, except for these 2, which I am thinking I will over dye soon. The pink because I already did one band in it. The red/yellow because I think that a different color may sell better. I am thinking of overlaying both with blue, to make the pink a purple color and then the other a purple/green variety? What do you all think?

Obviously, I cannot make up my mind on much of anything. I was debating this all day at work (all 8 hours, really!) and finally decided to ask all of you. I value your opinions so much because you are all such creative knitters and spinners!

One final thought. I don't usually reply to comments on here because I am unsure if you guys read them. If I know you read or look for replies, I will start doing so. What do you all think?

I hope the week is serving you all well! I finally got more stuff moved to my new place. It's starting to look less like an empty room and more like an empty room with boxes!

Don't forget to check out Tami's Amis for more WIP Wednesdays!


Sasha being awesome! Courtesy a photo message from my little sister!

Monday, June 11, 2012

WOW. What a Weekend!

Happy Monday!!!!!!!

Ok, yes I am super hyper today, even though I spent 8 hours at work scraping paint and caulking cracks...ick. But it helps that I had a super magnificent, ultra spectacular weekend! Oh and did I mention, this is my 100th Post! :D

Every year towards the beginning of June, there is an AMAZING festival of the arts, smack dab in the middle of Kansas! Bands, artists, crafters, vendors and the like come from all across the country to be a part of this amazing 4 day celebration. I myself have been going since I was young, having grown up in Salina, where it's hosted each year. In the past, I've gone for the food, and looked around at the booths a bit, but never really taken the time to get myself fully engrossed in the arts of it all. This year, it was different.

I signed up to volunteer with the kids crafts on Sunday, so I had all day Saturday to take advantage of what the festival had to offer. Being the knitting freak I am, I asked my good friend Ivy if she wanted to come visit and just sit out and knit all afternoon by the stage. It just so happens that it was also the kick off day of National Knit in Public Week! How lucky is that! So she came up in the morning and we explored the booths and arts and all that fun stuff. I got so many opportunities to meet some amazing artists from all over the country. This being the first time I have gone since realizing that I just want to make art, I was able to get myself fully involved in the art scene taking place and many of the artists I talked to were really friendly and open to discussing their techniques. Overall, I learned so much I plan to take with me next year.

Leslie Emery -- A very nice lady who I exchanged emails with and whose work is much like what I want to do in the future!

Edward Bartoszek -- Told me how he uses acrylics and a lot about how they work

Sharon Spillar -- Gave me some creative ideas for my acrylic ideas.

Brian Sullivan -- We talked about 'the real world' and how I should come to Champaign, IL for grad school

Besides that, I was also able to view a demonstration by a couple who dye, spin and create lace patterns. The husband showed us his wheel in action, something that oddly enough I have never seen. It made me really intrigued and excited to someday learn.  The wife talked about her dying and showed us her lace patterns. They were absolutely gorgeous. I think the biggest feat of the weekend was that I didn't buy any of her amazing, Malabrigo-esque yarn!

Photo courtesy Lost City Knit's website.
So after feasting on strawberry lemonade and stir fry noodles, we hit the grass and got some hard core knitting completed! It was so much fun to just sit out and listen to music while having a good time talking as well. I definitely feel like we became really good friends over the course of Saturday! And I got that much closer to finishing my pink spiral scarf!
What a great day for knitting!

Oh and don't forget the amazing HOMEMADE ice cream bars. This is my Goo Bar: Vanilla ice cream, between 2 brownies, dipped in chocolate! Ivy tried the one with Red Velvet cake. YUM!

To make the weekend even better, I went back with my family on Sunday after volunteering and got some more arts and fiber fun in! I made a couple of super cute buttons at the kids tent, and wrote a very poetic yarn statement on the poetry wall.
The funny thing is, most of these words were laying together in the pile of words anyways!

Totally going on my knitting bag!

I came home sunburned in more places than one, but it was so worth it. I enjoyed every minute I spent at the Smokey Hill River Festival, and you can bet I will be back next year, with pictures of my art to give my fellow artists!
Painted Duckies!

Painted grass and a wheel sculpture.

Oh and guess what? I finished the pink spiral scarf today! I have been knitting on and off of it since January, and finally just sat down and finished it! And I used every scrap of yarn too :) FINALLY no more half skeins laying around.

(more pictures can be seen on Ravelry!)

I hope everyone had a great weekend like me and is back to the groove of the week once again.


** I wish I could have taken more pictures, but I wasn't sure if I'd be violating any copy right laws. Better safe than sorry **

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Evening Book Review -- Bit of a disappointment

Hello all! I am super burned out from my day today, which I will likely post about tomorrow. Lets just say it was awesome.

But anyways, I still need to do today's book reviews, both of which tonight are somewhat disappointing this time around. Both books I checked out just didn't do anything for me this time.

Knitting Brioche by Nancy Merchant

  • The colors are pretty
  • The patterns are pretty. 
  • Does a good job explaining what Brioche knitting is and how it is different from normal knitting.
  • The author knows her stuff.


  • I wish the diagrams were easier to understand
  • I wish the instructions were easier to understand
  • I still think it sounds really hard to knit brioche and honestly this book didn't help me in figuring it out or making m actually want to.

Favorite patterns (IF I could figure out how to actually knit them):

Overall I think it's a good book with great patterns, but you would definitely want to watch some internet tutorials or something on Brioche to supplement this book because Brioche just sounds hard and confusing.

One Ball Knits: Accessories

  • It all only takes 1 ball of yarn


  • None of the patterns really do anything for me
  • They all seem pretty dated
  • The book isn't really very eye appealing or graphic designed well.

Favorite Patterns:

Overall, I just don't like this book. The patterns are very basic and lame and I just don't see anything in them I'd like to make.

Sorry tonight's book were a bit lame, it's probably my own fault for being in such a hurry the other night at the library. I was really hoping the Brioche book would be better, but I just couldn't understand it.  Any of you guys ever knit brioche? It looks really cool but sounds so confusing!

Happy Knit in Public Day!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Summertime Sunshine!

Wow. Just Wow.

When I first started this blog I was a weird little college freshman who had just learned to knit and wanted to share my art with the world. I honestly, as most of my fellow bloggers say as well, never thought this would pick up and people would actually WANT to read what I have to say. I truly thank Ravelry for most of my success, as well as my amazing friend Pumpkin Spins, of whom introduced me to several of my regularly followed blogs and many of your regular readers. I really cannot say how much I love reading all your blogs and also receiving all your comments (even though I don't reply to them!)

With that being said, Sarah at Sezzaknits nominating my little are blog for a Sunshine Award. I am so pleased to be able to share this with you all, for you have all made it possible for me to enjoy knitting and art that much more!
So now to the actual award. First the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 10 questions on your favourite things.
3. Nominate 10 blogs to receive the Sunshine Award and let them know they've been nominated. 
  1. Favourite animal: Cats! To be more specific Snow Leopards
  2. Favourite number: 999
  3. Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Flavored Lemonade, preferably strawberry or raspberry
  4. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  5. My passion: ART!
  6. Getting or giving: Giving
  7. Favourite Pattern:Ohhhh geeze...Well, I really enjoyed making Opus Spicatum last year, just because of the color work! But there are so many other great ones out there too!
  8. Favourite day of the week: Sunday
  9. Favourite flower: Tiger Lilly
  10. Favourite country: Scotland (check out last year's trip chronicles if you haven't already!)

Ok, who should I nominate????

A Year at the Wheel -- Because I love you're amazing spinning powers!
Project Stash -- Because I get so much inspiration from your blog!
Fidlstix -- Because you area always willing to help out and leave great comments! And your blog is so sweet too!
Nothing But Knit -- I feel like we are both very similar in our crafting endeavors!
Woolen Diversions -- I love your patterns, and your blog and well yea, everything!
Pumpkin Spins. -- Kinda a given. You made me love blogging!
Rural Purls -- I love that you post about farm life and make me want a cat!
My Sister's Knitter -- She always replies to my comments, is super nice, and I just love her blog and projects!
Misadventures in Craft -- Your ideas make me so inspired!
Create Bella Create -- I am so glad I found your during blog week, because I love your blog and your cute photos of your daughter!

Happy Weekend everyone! I have a very full weekend ahead of me, expect some updates soon!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

(Major) WIP Wednesday!

Hey guys, I'M MOVING!

Don't worry, Wicked Artsy is staying right here, it's just me personally who is about to move into yet another apartment. This time though, it's ALL MINE!

Luckily for me, my leases overlap, so I have time to gradually move in. I took a few boxes of misc. junk over there today, and I realized that this is going to be one MAJOR WIP. And I'm up for it. Take a look!

Future knitting sanctuary (aka living room)

Future dying lab (aka kitchen)

Future art studio!

Future knitting and spinning habitat (aka bedroom)

Future stash storage (aka 'closet')

I am so excited to get creative and just let go with this place, since I can do basically whatever I want with  it. Now I just have to get all my other stuff packed up...

In knitting news, I have 2 things to share today. First up is progress on my Amari shawl, which is coming along nicely, having finally started the lighter blue band.

And the dreaded lace top of doom, which isn't so doom-ish, or dreaded anymore now that I started the lace section. It's just slow going. What you see below is literally like 4 hours and only about 10 rounds.

Hey look, I'm getting better at photos!

I hope everyone's week is going great! Mine is going fast, especially since work consumes 8 hours a day of it!


To see more WIP Wednesday, be sure to visit Tami's Amis!